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Short Story English Homework

Writing Stories

The best place to start to learn more about writing is to study the masters of the short story. Many classic short stories are available online or at your local library. Nathaniel Hawthorne, Jack London, Ambrose Bierce, and O. Henry are just a few of the great writers who penned stories that engage readers. For younger writers, great short stories can include the authors Anton Chekov, Nathaniel Hawthorne, Edgar Allan Poe, and Shirley Jackson.

After getting inspiration fromt the masters, complete the following activity:

Short Story Practice Idea

One specific practice idea that students of any age can do is to complete the following project that compares two short stories and presents the information in a poster.

Choose two short stories. Make a poster that compares two of the following items or elements in the three stories:

  • Characters
  • Setting
  • Conflicts
  • Climax
  • Point of View
  • Resolution

The posters must include the name and author of each story. In addition, make sure to show examples of the two elements. This can be done with a combination of symbols, pictures, short quotes or brief explanations. This will give you a visual when writing your own short story.

References/Resources:

Elements of a Short Story, Ms. Engram's English Class.

Structure of a Short Story, Philip Brewer's Writer's Page.

Tips of Writing a Short Story, Abilene Christian University, Jerz's Writing Page.

"Charlieeeeeeee, do your homework now!" Wow, his mother was really bellowing at him.
Charlie thought, "Well, she doesn't have to do it. It's so boring", and he spent hours with his books, hoping that time would pass and it would soon be time for supper. As usual, he was lying on his bed, busy staring at the ceiling, daydreaming. Suddenly some little elves, no more than a centimetre tall, appeared by the window.

"Good evening, young man, will you please give us your homework so we can play with it?", asked one of the elves, politely.

Charlie laughed.

"How are you lot going to play with homework? It's the most boring stuff there is! Ha, ha, ha... Go on, take it. You can play with it as long as you like".

Charlie watched his guests, and was so surprised to see what they did. In less than a minute, they had formed teams and were busy playing with the pen, the eraser, the book, and the pad of paper. Very strange stuff they were getting up to. Like with the sums, instead of moving the pen across the paper, they would hold the pen still and move the paper instead. Or like how they had races to see who could do the sums fastest. And then they all dressed up as either Father Christmas, a Halloween pumpkin, or a bag of cheese. And whenever the clock was stopped, the elf who was in the lead got to draw himself in the notepad.

So the pad ended up full of Santas and pumpkins. They were also really funny while learning to read. They used well-known songs, and had to learn the words to them. When they had done that they put on a big concert to sing those songs.
Charlie really enjoyed watching those little students, he even joined in with the singing. And time passed so quickly, that suddenly his mother was calling him for supper.

"Aww, what a pain! This is so much fun..." he groaned, as he got up to go to supper.
"Of course it's fun! I already told you. Why don't you try it for a few days yourself? We'll all come back to see you again from time to time".

"Deal!" agreed Charlie.

So, every evening, Charlie started playing with his homework, inventing new and crazier ways to make it more fun. He would dress up, sing loads of songs, and do all manner of other things too. Now and again, his elf friends would turn up, although the truth was that he wasn't sure whether they really had come through the window or from out of his own imagination.

Neither Charlie's parents, nor his teachers, nor anyone in the whole school could understand the great change in him. From that day on, not only did he spend a lot more time doing homework, he did it perfectly, and accompanied with lots of drawings. He was very happy, and was always singing. His mother told him how proud she was at seeing him work so hard, especially at something she knew he found boring.
But Charlie said to himself
, "Well, she doesn't have to do it. It's fun!"

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